Mammals (Vertebrate Cycle)
Pinewood Elementary Writing Workshop

lyrics by the after-school songwriting crew (3rd, 4th, and 5th grade)
at Pinewood Elementary in Tujunga, CA
to the tune of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”

Mammals all have fur or hair, ain’t no scales or feathers there
Straight or curly, short or long, there is hair on every one!
The lion, llama, sheep, and shrew grow their hair as mammals do.

Every mama mammal feeds her babies milk to meet their needs
Mammal milk is really good, it’s Mother Nature’s perfect food
Maybe your mom made milk for you ‘cause that’s what mama mammals do.

Mammals are warm blooded so we’re active when the temperature’s low
Homeostasis is really neat, but it’s why we need so much to eat
Every mammal in the zoo is warm blooded just like you.

Mammals carry their babies inside the mama’s tummy, they get to ride.
A cord brings food and oxygen to you, takes away the waste and CO2
When you’re ready, Mom says “Oh,” pushes hard and out you go!


This is part of a song cycle about the five different classes of the vertebrate phylum, all of them written by a group of kids in an after-school arts program sponsored by the L.A's BEST foundation. They did a ton of research (books, documentaries, etc.) in the process and learned a lot about zoology. They also had fun writing and performing their songs! BTW the five vertebrate classes are reptiles, mammals, birds, fish, and amphibians.

Here are some academic content standards from the NGSS, Common Core, etc. addressed by this song.

First Grade:
1-LS1-2. Read texts and use media to determine patterns in behavior of parents and offspring that help offspring survive.
LS1.B: Growth and Development of Organisms. Adult plants and animals can have young. In many kinds of animals, parents and the offspring themselves engage in behaviors that help the offspring to survive.

Second Grade:
2-LS4-1. Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.

Third Grade:
LS1.B: Growth and Development of Organisms. Reproduction is essential to the continued existence of every kind of organism. Plants and animals have unique and diverse life cycles.
3-LS3-1. Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence that plants and animals have traits inherited from parents and that variation of these traits exists in a group of similar organisms.
LS3.B: Variation of Traits. Different organisms vary in how they look and function because they have different inherited information.
3-LS4-3. Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.

Fourth Grade:
4-LS1-1. Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.

All Grades:
-Participate in shared research and writing projects.
-Patterns in the natural and human designed world can be observed and used as evidence.
-Scientific Knowledge is Based on Empirical Evidence; scientists look for patterns and order when making observations about the world.